The S.T.E.A.M

The S.T.E.A.M

21st October 2019 | Samay



For driving the progress of any nation or society, Education of its masses ranks among the most important factors. Without education, no society can hope of, making any progress in any field whatsoever. This being an indisputable fact, some crucial questions arise from thus.  Few questions which could very well be termed as the scrutinising tools for an entire education system, its credibility and its relevance. Of these the most pressing one being, “Whether or not the student can grasp the concepts being taught to them efficiently?” This builds upon further aspects like “Can the concepts being taught to a student really add value to his future career?”, “Is the way it is taught, really enables the student to assimilate the knowledge easily?”. The answers to these questions are at best, unsatisfactory considering the present way of things. This however has a long standing effect on the nation at large.

The tedious, uninteractive, rigid and monotonous methods of teaching is a remnant of early industrial age schooling system where the whole purpose of education was to churn out regimented batches of workforce who would be expected to just follow orders, do the same structured job throughout as per instructions right until retirement. This system curbs the ability of students think differently, to ask questions, to suggest changes and modifications, as they are taught only the ‘right’ way of things. This not only demolishes the creativity among students blow by blow, but also extinguishes any spark of innovation they might have had at a point. Thus translating into unprecedented losses for the country in terms of innovators, technocrats, artists and so on.

Taking all this into consideration a novel concept was developed in Goa by the stalwarts at CIBA, Center of Incubation and Business Acceleration along with Ryan Vaz of Infinyt 3D.

CIBA being the states first full fledged incubator aims at promotion of startups and industries driven by innovation and streamlining the existing practices, while Ryan is carrying out pioneering work in popularising the revolutionary techniques of 3D printing.


Together, they came up with the concept of STEAM Labs. The abbreviation stands for S-Science, T-Technology, E-Engineering, A-Arts, M-Mathematics. Together, these five aspects make up the complete for development of a child s mind since a young age. If one observes a curriculum that an average student goes through throughout his or her school life, these five constitute the entire reach of it.


STEAM labs is a project under the TechXplore an initiative under which CIBA and Infinyt 3D in collaboration work on setting up innovation labs in schools of Goa. Infynyt 3D, the pioneers of 3D printing Goa, having started with Manovikas High School, have now set up labs with all the necessary instruments, gadgets and tools which allow the students to work out the concepts they learn in the class through live experimentation and also try out their innovative ideas. For this, the school also collaborates by means of funds and time alloted to every class for its students to explore and use these labs.


Equipped with instruments ranging from independent Aduino processors to 3D pens, these labs are designed to cover the full range of the students needs to complement their vivid thoughts and imaginations.


The equipment provided opens the world of technological advances in for of robotics, artificial intelligence, designing programmable devices while also allowing them to explore their artistic side through 3D printing and also drawing and bring both these aspects which have remained separated through greater part of two centuries by rigid and divisive disciplines together. When all these five aspects are combined, it opens up infinite possibilities.

 This phenomenon can be clearly observed in any worthwhile innovation that we have had till date, be it Leonardo Da Vinci s groundbreaking work to Steve Job’s iPod revolution. All the innovators have combined Arts, Engineering and Mathematics together through different permutations.

STEAM labs has been created with the same idea and envisions reaching out to every part of the nation and unleash the potential of students’ right from a tender age by training them with an inclusive mindset.

Moreover, Through the TechXplore Initiative, CIBA looks forward to take the labs right into the remote corners of the state, where even the regular technological advancements of the day Still seems like a far fetched dream, owing to various constraints. We at CIBA envision to eliminate this barrier by giving access to and training students to broaden their horizons.


Food and Food all the way!

Food and Food all the way!

7th October 2019 | Samay

Food Processing !!


The evergreen trade that Was, Is and Always Will Be

The economy of the world always runs in a cycle. The never ending circle of Boom and Recession and the Boom again, in every domain and while this happens, though it may be for a specific domain, no domain remains completely immune to its effects. However, there is one domain which remains mostly unhindered by the roadblocks and obstacles caused by the economic turmoil, The Food Sector.

Come what may, people need Food. In comparatively worse off scenarios, if not for luxury, at least for survival. Moreover, considering the rapid urbanisation of the world as a whole and the skyrocketing growth pace of consumerism that the world has witnessed over the last 5 decades. Processed food has become an irreplaceable in a regular urban dietary habits , although, to a very large extent the same has spread into the rural sector too in a massive way.


This makes processed foods stand as one of the industries of our times, and being so big, it s still its far from saturation, just because of the simple human need of varieties in everything. From various juices, jams, confectionaries, sauces, flour, meat, sea food, even cooked or semi cooked food are available in the market on a large scale and also takes a lion s share of the total commercial exchanges in a market, acting as a regular draw, making the processed food market one of the most wide open markets of the present time.


Addressing this scenario and in an attempt to empower the people, especially those belonging to the region of the coastal state of Goa, The Centre For Incubation and Business Acceleration (CIBA) is organising a full fledged month and half long programme in tandem with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in Food Processing. Named as the Food Processing Technology based Entrepreneurship Development Program,

this course is extensively curated and designed to train the participants in all the various aspects of Food Processing with the aim of empowering them enough to move ahead and start their own Entrepreneurial Venture in that massive space.


The TEDP program is specifically designed with the purpose of training a fresh individual even on an aspirant level, in the different facets of a food related business. From processing, preparation, packaging, preservation to licencing, branding, market research and analysis, everything is covered in the same. Through this program, the Government and the organisations like CIBA are diligently working with a single point program of Creating an abundance of Job Creators!!


The Dire Need OF Entrepreneurship!

The Dire Need OF Entrepreneurship!

1st October 2019 | Samay Shetti

Need Of Entrepreneurship

Over the long history since the ancestors of humans learned to use tools, our entire species have undergone many paradigm shifts at various points of time. Starting with the technique of starting a fire, use of stone and bone tools, the invention of the wheel, smelting of metal, development of sails, the printing press, development of the engine, Invention of the Machines, Telegraphs, the The tele-phone, The Internet are just a few from the long list.


One thing is common between them all however, whenever these times came, they changed the way humanity functioned completely, and when it did change, the regular occupations that were the norm before that also drastically changed. In all the history of the world, however, if one thing that has remained unchanged is this cycle of evolution of  innovation and the same innovation being the death rattle of the previous way of life and replacing it with a new one, only to be superseded by a new innovation that would start the cycle all over again, but in the summum-bonum of it, each iteration has left Humanity a little more evolved. It has to be noted that, with each iteration however, the speed of it is only going up.

Presently we are on the cusp of the same iteration, but the only difference is this is happening at an unprecedented breakneck speed, and not in just one domain, but in all the domains at the same time. 


Coming to another aspect of the situation, all throughout the History of the world, the golden ages of humanity if one gives a deeper observation, is always the ones where the Entrepreneurs driven by innovation defined the regions, empires, nations and civilisations themselves. On the contrary, the Dark Ages are defined by widespread unemployment where Entrepreneurship and Innovation was on the rock bottom for various reasons.


Having said that, coming to the present times, we live in times of precarious situations which throw most if not all the previous definitions and narratives off the rockers. If one observes, the present economy is in a boom time, but the job markets are on their way to the rock bottom. Again if one gives this a thought, it is caused by the rapid innovation in every domain that has only gone on increasing their pace since the dawn of the information age.


Taking all this into consideration, the only sane way to go ahead is heading back to the old way of Innovation driven Entrepreneurship, lest we would like to have another Dark Age knocking at our doors soon.


Addressing this issue head on, there are organisations right now who are relentlessly working towards boosting the Entrepreneurial Tamper among the masses through awareness and training and one such organisation working towards it from last 7 years is the Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration through its various programmes in Goa. With the support from a proactive and enthusiastic Government, headed by Narendra Modi, the efforts have only got a massive boost since the announcements of new schemes and efforts to create more job providers and than the Job Seekers since 2015. After that point, the zeal and Morale of the organisations like CIBA has only shot up with the full might of the Government Of India behind them in their Efforts. 

Presently towards this end, the Incubation Centre is working on “Entrepreneurship Awareness Camps” held in colleges across Goa, where young minds are given an introduction to the rapidly changing world outside the walls of their classrooms and the way to be relevant and thrive in the real world outside the college compounds. Moreover, with the Narendra Modi lead government in the centre and a benevolent one lead by Dr. Pramod Sawant in the state, CIBA now looks ahead in reaching out to every remote corner of the coastal state and take the message of Entrepreneurship and Innovations with them.

10 Books You must have on your Bookshelf as an Entrepreneur!

10 Books You must have on your Bookshelf as an Entrepreneur!

3rd October 2019 | Samay


Read Up!

And See you at the top!!

If one makes a list of everyone that they have come across or read about or heard about that has made it worth their while in life, there are a few traits one can find to be common among them. The person could be anyone, an Author, an Artist, a Wise Man, or an Efficient Entrepreneur they all would have these defining traits in common. The trait that is the most prominent among all is that of is the habit of Reading.

“Books”, these are said to be the best friend that any individual can have, but one could very well argue that they are much more.  Books are the most efficient modes by which intangible things like knowledge, wisdom, experiences, memories, lessons, learning, emotions, feelings and so much more can be compiled and shared as something tangible among all.  By far, a book can be a friend, a guide, a mentor, a companion, a coach and so much more. One can pick up any number of life lessons from a book to which can empower them to reach their desired goals.

Here we talk about 10 books that needs to be on your bookshelf if you are thinking about venturing onto the Frontier of Entrepreneurship. Written by those who have beaten the odds to make their resolute mark on the Business Scape of the world, these works present a perfect combination of Guidance and Inspiration to the seeker who seeks it. Here are 10 books you that can guide you in trying times of your entrepreneurial journey.

1. The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their

Founding Entrepreneurs - David Kidder

300 pages of text detailing the twists and turns of the journeys of various Entrepreneurs of note, through David Kidder’s interviews with hundreds of founders about their path to success and how they managed to build their multimillion (or billion) dollar enterprises. Giving the reader insider access, David details the hard-hitting experiences of some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and CEOs, revealing their most closely held advice. 




2. The 4-Hour Workweek - Timothy Ferriss


Considered a must-read for those who want to take the entrepreneurial plunge, the book talks about how you can automate and create an income-generator so that you focus on your passion. Author Timothy Ferris believes that entrepreneurship is a great way to get back control of your life and also enjoy life without working 40 hours in a week. This book helps you effectively shun the typical 9-5 job and look at exciting avenues that allows you to live and work from virtually anywhere.






3. Rework -  Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson


Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Sounds too good to be true? Well, founders should read it to know why plans are actually harmful, why one doesn’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. 





4. The Lean Startup: Eric Ries 




This book by Eric Ries addresses a key statistic in the innovation ecosystem: most startups fail. But the author proposes an antidote of sorts to this truth, stating that many of those failures are preventable. Eric draws from disciplines such as lean manufacturing in the automotive sector to come up with his ‘Lean Startup’ approach to devise new metrics and success criteria for startups. Less is more, and that cannot be emphasised more for entrepreneurship.






5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don tJim Collins



Jim Collins in his celebrated 2001 book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don t identified seven characteristics of companies that went from “good” to “great”. The first and most telling characteristic relates to people and what the author refers to as the ‘Level 5 Leadership’, which is all about quiet, confident humility and being driven to do what is best for the company as opposed to being lauded and heralded as the “greatest” or “ iconic” – or some other similar – leader. Read this book to transition from the common good to the rare great.






6. Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation - Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom


This book gives the secret sauce to all those struggling startups. In the book the authors explain the ‘Nail It then Scale It’ method, which recognises those patterns and principles that most successful entrepreneurs use. If you are putting in all the hours and the hard work and still unable to find that elusive success, this book just might nudge you towards a breakthrough.






7. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future -Chris Guillebeau



Compared with the dozens of books addressing corporate innovation or technology startups or small/medium businesses, The $100 Startup has a refreshingly different focus: the ‘solopreneur’ or individual entrepreneurs who strike off on their own or with small teams, and convert ‘passions into profits’ through micro-businesses. In this book, author Chris Guillebeau distils his learnings from conversations with over 1,500 individuals who have spun profitable businesses out of a modest investment of $100 or less. Whoever said you need multimillion-dollar fund-raises to be successful?





8. Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind -Biz Stone


In his book, Biz Stone, the Co-founder of Twitter, discusses the power of creativity and how to harness it through stories from his remarkable life and career. Biz, who is known for his creativity covers pivotal and personal stories from his life in this 224-page book, along with lessons earned and learned the hard way while building one of the top internet companies of our times. 






9. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life -Alice Schroeder



Author Alice Schroeder gets unprecedented access to one of the world’s noted billionaires: business magnate Warren Buffett. This book provides insider knowledge on the genius behind Berkshire Hathaway. Warren has never written a memoir, nor does he court the media like other well-known billionaires. So grab this book if you want to learn from an astute businessman who always treated his investors as partners. 





10. Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days -Jessica Livingston



Founders at Work is a collection of profiles of tech company founders such as Steve Wozniak (Apple), Caterina Fake (Flickr), Mitch Kapor (Lotus), Max Levchin (PayPal), and Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail). Author Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator. This book will tell you how these tech geniuses stumbled upon their winning idea, what they did to nurture it, and how they built successful businesses based on it, despite the many challenges strewn along the way.



10 Reasons to Live in a Co-live

10 Reasons to Live in a Co-live

29th July 2019 | Samay




The Millennials as they call us right now, are a totally new culture itself in many ways. An entire generation that is constantly on the move. Dreams in eyes, zeal in heart and a spring in the pace being their defining characters. With the technological boom  having taken place in the decade, the environment also has seen a rapid change with the youth being on the forefront being the quickest to evolve on the fast lane. The evolution too has been on in every domain,among which the defining ones being  Work and Accomodation dominate the cultural shift!




As a result of this, the phenomenon that has seen a meteoric rise are the Co-working and Co-living Spaces!




An Ecosystem tailor-made to fit the needs of the needy, here are 10 reasons why it s the perfect answer to the Millennial Questions!




1.    Cost




Paisa! Rokda !! Damdi !!! Kaasu Kano!!!!


The biggest factor that dictates a millennial s lifestyle is the Cold Hard Cash! And with the real estate prices having touched the Stratosphere at near escape velocity, a home in a city is an unacceptable hole in a Millennial s Pocket!




Answer: Coliving Space!


Here, on a fractional expense a backpacker can get a cozy bed in a plush house without any hassles of House Huntings! Negotiations! Adjustments and most importantly, India s obsession with married couples!


"We are giving to families only!"


How many of you have already heard this??




2.    Atmosphere




Let s get this straight, Homes in a strange city are either lonely or constricted with Landlord s Aflatoon Policies! Both of which gets on the Millennial Nerves who are all about finding their own expression.




Answer: A Coliving space!!


It is one setup where they can truly breathe free.




3.    Community




Ever felt alone in the crowd? Well it s not just you bud, that s one of the biggest side effects of the life on the fast lane. Each individual has a different make-up, a unique construct and hence different preferences and different needs. Any Millennial who moves to a new city would relate to the rarity of finding a person with matching wavelengths!




Answer: A Coliving space!!!


It s a space which has a rainbow of different kinds of people who are all on their own passion Driven Journey!




4.    The Travel





Well with Uber, Ola, Google Maps, easy transport and Instagram! Travelling has become one of the biggest fad among us millennials. But as any Traveler would testify, a new city with it s new culture, language, way of life and rules! Both written and unwritten can prove to be a bigger bite than one can chew.




Answer: Coliving Space!!!!


Well, this is a place where one can find like minded adventurers from any corner of the world…


A Generation that is on the move needs a pitstop where one can pitch in and acclimatise! A Coliving Space, provides exactly that!




5.    Settling In





When setting foot in an uncharted territory, anxiety is only natural, especially in a place where the language and culture is something new. Too many questions just adds petrol to the fire. Questions like where will I live? Where will I eat? Whom will i meet? How would it be?




Answer: Coliving Space!!!!!


These are the places that have popped up in most of the cities where one can live in a friendly atmosphere among a warm cheerful community.




6.    Healthy on the move







Another aspect very close to the Millennial heart is Fitness! As when on the move one would just hate to fall down sick or carry along restrictions for health reasons.




Answer: Coliving spaces!!!!!!


These are the places that are tailor made for traveling, exploring, enthusiastic Millennials,hence every need is taken into consideration. Good Coliving spaces are decked with fitness tools and links with the medics for it s inmates use.




7.    Landlords







Well, One word. Landlords!


The nagging, The taunting, The bullying, The policing, The nosing, The interference, The hankering, the Deposits and of course, The deadly statement, "We don t give to bachelors"! (with some exceptions of course) any person who has stayed in another city and taken up a space would know this way too well! And frankly speaking, we millennials hardly have the patience for the bare necessities, for other things its either “Get it done or Take a walk” attitude. Over that, The Landlords is just Unbearable!! 




Answer: Coliving Spaces!!!!!!!


These are the spaces on rent where there are no Looming Landlords Loitering on your head. NO Hassle, no nagging just pay your day charge and chill!




8.    Independence







Freedom and Independence! The two core necessities of the Millenial, in a rental housing structure or even one in the hotel structure, the independence to live as they feel, do stuff when they want to do stuff, that little slice of life on their own terms? (Of Course not something that will land you in Jail)




Answer: Coliving Spaces!!!!!!!!


These are the spaces that are designed with personal independence in mind, it s a safe place where as long as one is not creating a nuisance for others, they will never be impeded from their stuff.




9.    Synergies





As easy as it may be to say it, we have all experienced at some point or another the mammoth task of finding a right person to synergize with something, be it for a job, a business venture or life itself.




Answer: Coliving Spaces!!!!!!!!!


Coloring Spaces of different cities inevitably turns into a melting pot of ideas, cultures, philosophies, stories, fables, adventures and experiences.




A bustling coliving space is basically the world in a nutshell with a package of the best it has to offer. If a dreamer lands here, it s but obvious that they stand the highest chances of hitting the perfect chords!




10.  Party!!!!!!!!!!





Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice!


The perfect formula with all the ingredients for a perpetual party mood!




Co living spaces are where travelers of different walks meet at a point and build strong bonds of camaraderie and friendship, one free from ulterior motives, expectations of hidden agendas. It s a place where genuine networks are made and human links linking borders and even continents are created. And is such a place of friendship, love and freedom, all the time is Party Time!!









STEM Education in India: An Opportunity to Blossom Young Minds

STEM Education in India: An Opportunity to Blossom Young Minds

6th March 2018 | Decision Tree Consulting

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.” [Source:]

The meaning and benefits of STEM education

Today, technology is a part of every aspect of our life. Consequently, applications of STEM can be found everywhere around us – from the construction of roads and bridges to combating climate change to mobile and internet technology as well.


By introducing children to the applications of Science and Mathematics in real life at an early age, it is possible to develop their interest in STEM, encouraging them to take up STEM-related jobs in the future. So, instead of focussing on rote learning, STEM learning programs are application driven to develop the analytical and problem-solving abilities of students from an early age.

We can summarise the benefits of STEM education as follows:


·         Develop problem-solving capability

·         Logic-building

·         Hands-on learning 

·         Better learning outcomes for students in STEM subjects


Need for STEM education in India

Rapid strides in science and technology have shaped our lives in the 21st century, making STEM skills extremely desirable in the workforce. It is a proven fact that careers in STEM are much more financially rewarding as compared to most other fields. In addition, research is the cornerstone of every technological innovation, and by exposing children to STEM education at an early age, it is possible to develop their interest in the subjects, enabling them to make smarter career choices in the future.

Unfortunately, despite the demanding times we live in, the educational system in India continues to be stuck in the past. Even today, there is a major emphasis on textbook learning and the knowledge of the students is considered proportional to the marks scored by them in year-end examinations.

Especially with PM Narendra Modi introducing the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the country is on its way to become a world manufacturing hub. This means the demand for STEM professionals is only going to increase in the future. Thus, it is the need of the hour to include hands-on learning in the curriculum, especially at K-12 level, to build the curiosity of the kids towards STEM subjects in a fun environment. Introducing exploratory and interdisciplinary STEM education from early stages of school curriculum would help meet this demand by promoting inquiry-based learning that will produce the innovators, thinkers, scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

STEM education in India

According to Census 2011 data, India has the largest number of students in the world at 315 million. Yet, the educated youth lack the requisite skills to meet the demands of the corporate world, largely due to inadequate teaching infrastructure and a system that stifles creativity and innovation by focussing more on marks. Today, less than one percent students in India opt for research-oriented courses, which points towards a grim future for the country. Adoption of STEM curriculum offers a viable solution to the issue, but a few challenges have been identified in its implementation: 

·        Lack of clear guidelines on how to implement STEM

·        Shortage of qualified STEM teachers

·        Lack of technological infrastructure

·        Shifting the focus of educators from marks to innovation

Thankfully, steps are being taken to resolve this issue, with both government and private institutions facilitating special programmes for STEM education and research at school level and beyond. For example, the recently set up Indo-U.S. STEM Education and Research Centre in India offers a unique two-year program that trains Indian students to acquire world-class teaching skills at the undergraduate level. The centre is a result of the five-year partnership between OSU (The Ohio State University) and AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) under the Obama-Singh (now Indo-U.S.) 21st Century Knowledge Initiative award (2013-2017) to support faculty training of Indian postgraduate students in STEM disciplines [Read more here].

Besides, non-profit organisations such as India Stem Foundation have facilitated STEM learning for underprivileged students in India by setting up Robo Siksha Kendras in schools, many of which are funded by corporates as part of their CSR initiatives.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of government and private institutions, most schools at K-12 level today have some form of STEM programme. Closer to home in Goa, CIBA has set up a Think Lab in Manovikas School, Margao, where children are taught robotics in a hands-on and minds-on manner. Kids of all age groups are invited to explore, experiment, innovate and tinker with robotics, giving them an unmatched opportunity to learn the practical implementations of theoretical concepts and build their natural curiosity towards STEM disciplines.

Planet Earthlings: Enabling Gaming-based Learning

Planet Earthlings: Enabling Gaming-based Learning

21st December 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Real education is much beyond rote learning; it is beyond being a doctor or an engineer or a lawyer or an MBA, for that matter. The real purpose of education is not to create individuals who command a few lakhs in their pay package each month but to develop ‘humane’ humans, who understand kindness, who care about each other and the planet, and understand the importance of, as well as practice, sustainable living.

Unfortunately, our education system is yet to encompass these ‘human’ realms in its ambit. Luckily, there are a few thought-tanks and creatives amongst us who have taken it upon themselves to turn this situation around. Enter Greg Acuna, an author, playwright and media strategist of repute, who has come up with an animated virtual world with the aim of empowering young people to change the ‘real’ world.

Titled Planet Earthlings, this unique project creates empowering games including "Zarbul", a gamified educational space-themed universe for young people with an overall story interwoven through it, to excite and reward the kids, ensuring they have fun while learning.

Students will encounter four major activities in the form of educational content, co-operative gaming, collaborative apps and community tools to stimulate their minds and encourage ‘real’ learning.

Once they enter this virtual universe, players will create an alien avatar, assemble a spaceship and set out to explore the universe and save Earth. Each planet they choose will contain educational mini-games, user-created content and offline content to encourage real-life experiences that can be shared on the online world, later.

Creating a unique educational social network through multiplayer games, the platform enables students to explore the activities together, creating virtual study groups and chat to help each other. Students would also have access to a tutor database on the platform.

Taking the experience one step further, the educational mini-games would soon be expanded to the mobile platform, compatible with both Android and iOS devices, forming a revenue stream to fund the venture along with the commissions earned from tutors. In the future, Planet Earthlings would partner with more creatives and content firms to make the experience even more engaging, and the academic base, wider.

Apart from creating a powerful parallel universe of learning and fun, Greg has several ‘kind’ tricks up his sleeve, such as the kindness card game "Acting Kindly" and the #7DaysKindnessChallenge that fosters community spirit and teaches kids to be kind and respectful towards individuals and surroundings in a fun manner. There is also the ‘Save Da Aliens’ game, a fast action arcade game with a twist. Here, instead of shooting aliens, children rescue them, helping them come to Earth, learning about the universe and the advantages of kindness and diversity in the process. The game has already received a Steam Green Light to be sold on the world’s biggest desktop game distribution platform, reports the website. You can see a promo of the game on

Making world a better place

It takes great leaders to raise great nations – however, grooming the children of today to be kind and sensitive leaders is what is going to change the fate of our world. Be it sustainable living, protecting the environment or breeding harmony amongst nations and communities, it all starts with educating the kids right. Greg, through Planet Earthlings, has taken some concrete steps in this direction, while ensuring children do not lose their childhood in years of rote learning. Learn more about Greg and his ventures at 

Food-tech Ventures Digging a Bite in the Goan Startup Scene

Food-tech Ventures Digging a Bite in the Goan Startup Scene

24th October 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

A trending anonymous quote on the internet says, “I won’t be impressed with technology until I can download my food.” Well, while we are yet to download the food from a smart device, technology is surely playing an important role in connecting hungry mouths with all kinds of foods, across the globe.

Whether it is innovating new flavours and foods or processing food for a prolonged shelf life or cutting corners (in a good sense!) and finding alleyways in food delivery and supply chain – technology is influencing every day hunger management around the world.

The sunshine state is not a different story. For decades, Goa is synonymous with a lifestyle rich with sumptuous food and exotic drinks – of course, apart from its pristine beaches and vibrant culture.

How are Goan Startups Making Advances in Food Technology?

Goans have a special place for food in their hearts. Add to the fact that most Goans have global exposure; it is quite natural for the state to witness a lot of gastronomical innovations.

What meets the eye is the slew of new theme-based gourmet restaurants popping across Goa, especially before the start of the tourist season. However, there is much more cooking in the food technology space in the state that meets the eye.

From spice-based liqueur to organic, healthy snacks to frozen foods, Goan startups are busy making innovative foods and drinks and also finding novel ways to connect food vendors with the hungry mob.

CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Administration), an incubation centre in Goa, has an important role to play in transforming Goa into a food technology startup hotbed. The incubation centre has three centres; two in Goa and one in Mumbai.

The Verna, Goa, centre offers a state-of-the-art food processing lab where food entrepreneurs can come and dabble in food technology, at a negligible cost. Not just that, CIBA also offers food technology startups in Goa in raising seed funding, obtaining food and other requisite certifications, mentorship, patenting and marketing.

“We offer end-to-end support to food technology startups, from the stage of testing their recipes and formulas in our fully-equipped food processing lab to securing their inventions through patenting to helping the startup stand on its feet through constant mentorship on marketing and business operations management,” says D. S. Prashant, General Manager, CIBA.

The incubation centre supports several individuals in testing their food products in its food processing lab and also creates awareness on the subject of food technology through various seminars, talks and workshops. Recently, CIBA conducted the ‘Entrepreneurship Development Programme in Food Processing’, a six-week program to help people who wanted to launch their own food processing venture.

Previously, CIBA had supported Licor Armada, the now world-famous spice-based fine liqueur. It is presently incubating Foodbudz, an innovative food takeaway platform that is bridging the gap between customers and food vendors.

The Road Ahead

A lot of people from around the world come to Goa each year. Some revel over the weekend, while others stay for a couple of months. In any case, the demand for innovation in food is increasing each year. This is causing many youngsters to look at food technology as a promising area for entrepreneurship in Goa, and incubation centres like CIBA set the stage for innovation to simmer into marketable food products.



Why Goa attracts entrepreneurs

Why Goa attracts entrepreneurs

6th October 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

The balmy shores of India’s foremost holiday destination – Goa – pull vacationers from far and wide. But if you scratch beneath the surface of the lazy veneer that the state so famously adorns, you’d be surprised to discover young and energetic entrepreneurs, dreamers and hustlers, who have come together from various corners of India to give shape to their entrepreneurial dreams.


Yes, Goa is certainly about the sun, the sand, the sundowners and frolic. But it is also about innovation, technology, an enviable work-life balance and a progressive government that is a big boost to entrepreneurship in Goa.


No surprise then, entrepreneurship in Goa is on the rise. From the inspiring story of one determined woman turning a corner shop into a widely patronized restaurant – Martins, to homegrown heroes such as Fleetrover, Browntape, Prototyze and Vacation labs, startups in Goa are taking the world by the storm.


In fact, innovation has always been synonymous with the state that provides an ideal environment to nurture the mind as well as businesses - think clean, green and peaceful locales, the not-so-crazy traffic, cheaper office spaces, supportive government policies and constantly developing infrastructure.


 A boost to the startups in Goa


The government of Goa released a start-up policy aimed at making Goa a top start-up destination in 2025.


“We want to feature in 25 top start-up destinations in Asia by 2025. Goans can avail benefits of the policy and launch start-ups at different locations across Goa,” said IT Minister Rohan Khaunte. (Read more here)


The initiative will provide assistance to Goan entrepreneurs, generating employment for at least 5,000 Goans over the next five years.


Incubation in Goa


Encouraging and mentoring young minds to pursue entrepreneurship and supporting several fledgling startups in IT and food tech are the incubation centres in Goa such as CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration), earlier Agnel Entrepreneurship Development Institute, leading the entrepreneurial wave that has washed over the state in the past few years.


CIBA, a public-private venture, was set up in April 2012 with an aim to support the startup ecosystem in the state through mentorship, co-working space and funding at the seed stage. Owing to the state focus on unconventional areas such as food processing, clean technologies and solid waste management, several young entrepreneurs have sought incubation in Goa, and found the perfect environment and support to grow their business ideas into reality.  

In short, Goa boasts of a vigorous infrastructure apart from incubation facilities and pristine environment that is at the core of the pursuit of innovation. In addition, a large number of engineering graduates in the state, natural fluency in the English language, a slow pace of life and better work-life balance are all incentives for entrepreneurs to set shop on the sunny shores of Goa that are fast becoming the innovation hubs of India, and for good reason, too.

Goan start-ups leading the way

Goan start-ups leading the way

25th September 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Entrepreneurship in Goa is at an all-time high. This is the time when Goan startups are constantly in the news for creating innovative products, platforms and services. Be it spice-based wine, craft vacations, hyperlocal services or fleet management, startups in Goa are making a splash around the world for their compelling business ideas that can scale quickly and profitably.

What is causing this sudden boom of startups in the state?

Well, there is nothing miraculous about the fact that the words innovation and Goa are being written on the same line. Several people and institutions have worked hard to prepare a favourable environment for breeding startups in the state. At the forefront is CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration), earlier Agnel Entrepreneurship Development Institute, a leading incubation centre in Goa.

CIBA focuses on empowering IT and food technology startups, and since its inception in the year 2000 (as Agnel Entrepreneurship Development Institute), the incubation centre has supported over 5,000 fledgeling startups in the state.

In the recent past, CIBA revved up the startup initiatives in Goa and is on a mission to educate and inspire young minds to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship. Their efforts have certainly contributed in kindling the spark of entrepreneurship in Goa.

What makes Goa an ideal destination for startups?

Goa is perceived as the penultimate place to rest one’s body and mind. It is a perfect place to launch your startup, too!

-   Infrastructure: Goa boasts of a robust infrastructure to prosper commerce and trade

-   Incubation facilities: CIBA with its two-state-of-the art incubation centres in Goa, together with Springboard91, offers ample incubation opportunities for startups

-   Great Environment: Goa offers pristine beaches, fresh air and lush-green stretches, in short, an ideal environment to rejuvenate mind and soul, a fundamental requisite for the pursuit of innovation

-   Access to bright and enterprising local talent

Launching a startup can be a stressful task; hence, more and more entrepreneurs are heading towards states like Goa where the pace of life is slower, and quality of life is higher.

Blue-eyed Startups of Goa

L&A Tech: The Verna-based IT startup, mentored by CIBA and GITIC, has been acquired by a German IT company for 1 million euros, the first such acquisition for any Goan startup.

Transerve Technologies: A leading Hyperlocal technology company, Transerve offers solutions to improve city operations. Initially incubated at CIBA, it is helmed by IIT- Kanpur alumnus, Amarsh Chaturvedi.

FleetRover: An end-to-end enterprise software for fleet management, FleetRover is currently tracking thousands of vehicles and enabling several clients to make informed business decisions. FleetRover is founded by Luke Sequeira along with his friends. Luke is also the founder of DCCPER, which helps entrepreneurs around the world to build scalable web and mobile apps.

Licor Armada: Born in Goa, raised in Portugal and educated in UK, Oscar de Sequeira Nazareth founded Licor Armada, a handcrafted spice-based liqueur reminiscent of the Portuguese Colonial Era. Today, the startup not only sells in the upscale hotels and restaurants, but also exports to UK and Finland.

There are many other Goan startups such as Zooter, Vacation Lab, Prototyze, Poocho, etc., who have helped in putting Goa on the startup map of the world.


As the sunshine state transforms its perception from beach-wear to business-wear, many entrepreneurs queue up to seek incubation in Goa. If the trend continues, it won’t be long when Goa and innovation would become synonymous to each other.

5 Offline Marketing Tricks for Startups to Grow Business

5 Offline Marketing Tricks for Startups to Grow Business

13th September 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Surveys state that only 60% of urban India has access to internet. Therefore, to target a larger audience, apart from social media networking and digital marketing, offline marketing tricks are necessary to grow your business.

Most businesses are effectively leveraging digital marketing to grow their reach. However, that does not mean offline marketing is out of date. Even today, no business can afford to ignore the power of face-to-face marketing or the reach of printed material such as brochures and fliers. In this post, we share with you 5 cost-effective proven offline marketing tricks that will give you results:

1.       Printed Marketing Material

Business cards and flyers that are well-suited to your objective give your target audience a clear picture of what your business is about. Whether you are a startup or an established local business, attractively designed brochures, flyers or leaflets can help you take your business to the audience in a cost-effective way. Through printed material, you can offer a free service or consultation that will pique the interest of your target audience and is sure to generate good leads.


2.       Network your Way to Growth

Attending networking events, seminars and business meetings keep you up-to-date with your industry, increase your visibility and help you network with other service providers as well as potential clients that can be added to your mailing list for direct marketing. Volunteer to speak at these events as it is cost-effective and provides an exposure for your startup. Ask for referrals from past clients that you can talk about and hand out feedback forms as it shows your audience that you care about your customers.


3.       Promotional Merchandise with your Company Logo

Merchandise like magnets, stationary and mugs are an arsenal. Through this, at a low cost, your startup can achieve a massive outreach and recognition. These customized items have a large impact on your small business as when used in their everyday lives, can keep your business at the top of their mind. Customizing items related to your business could also be beneficial for the growth of your startup. For example, if you have opened a restaurant, you could customize recycled carry bags and tissues. This merchandise can also be given complementarily to a product or as a free giveaway to increase your customer loyalty.


4.       Rule the Print media

While it is quite an expensive deal to run a nation-wide advertising campaign in a leading daily, startups can certainly take the route of PRs and editorials to reach to the masses at a very low cost. With most dailies having a digital avatar too, your brand is bound to reach prospective customers from varied demographic and economic backgrounds.



5.       Hit Below the Belt (BTL)

Explore the various BTL marketing options that are innovative, engaging and cost-effective. Whether a mob flash or sampling stall or the good old hoarding advertisement, BTL campaigns have the power to engage the customers’ attention for a long period of time.


It does require a lot of personalized effort and planning to reach out to the customer directly and introduce your brand. Yet it is the most effective way of impressing your brand upon the mind space of your target audience. After all, people do business with people and believe what they see with their own eyes. So, until bots start buying stuff, offline marketing is a good idea for your brand.


About CIBA: Fostering entrepreneurship in Goa, CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration) is a leading incubation centre in Goa which has already nurtured 40+ fledgling startups since its inception. CIBA welcomes Goan startups to incubate at any of its three premises in Verna, Assagao and Mumbai.



5 Reasons Why Startup Owners / Marketing Team Must Learn Digital Marketing Hacks

5 Reasons Why Startup Owners / Marketing Team Must Learn Digital Marketing Hacks

13th September 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Out of sight is out of mind. This phrase is particularly true when it comes to your brand, especially in present times when your startup is competing with several other businesses – big and small - in the same digital arena. Simply putting up a website and random updating of content on your web pages would surely not help your brand move forward.

The popular solution to this problem is to hire a digital marketing services provider. However, this could put added financial strain on startups, especially the bootstrapped ones. Moreover, startups, seeing no visible increase in traffic or leads in the initial couple of months, often lose faith in the power of digital marketing and find themselves in a quagmire.

However, if startup owners / marketers have some insights on the tools and techniques of digital marketing, they can not only guide their hired digital marketing resource / agency but also drive online marketing campaigns on their own.

Let’s check out top five reasons why startup owners / marketers must acquaint themselves with latest digital marketing hacks:

1.      A Lot of Visibility


Over 1 Billion people are known to be active daily on their social media accounts. Digital marketing experts, who are well acquainted with the tools and techniques of social media promotion, can create lot of visibility in a very short time.


2.      Everything Changes, Technology Too!


It pays to be updated with the emerging trends in digital marketing. As your target customers hop from one technological platform to another, your brand, too, needs to be present on all the trending platforms.


3.      Google Searches Matter


Researches prove that 90% of users click only those links that appear on the first page of a Google search. This means that if your brand doesn’t appear on the first page in a Google search result, it appears nowhere. A well-planned SEO campaign can surely bring your brand to a spot where most of the customers flock.


4.      Wide Reach at a Small Cost


Every penny counts when you are running a startup. And marketing the products and services could be a daunting task for many startups. Thankfully, digital marketing initiatives ensure wider, more targeted reach at a much lower cost, when compared to offline marketing campaigns.


5.      Page Monetization

Monetization strategies like affiliate marketing and pay-per-click ads earn you money every time you have a visitor on your webpage. Another well-known strategy to monetize your page is to host live webinars and workshops through free platforms like YouTube and charge your audience for access. A little insight on how to bring more traffic to your website and to create online awareness about events such as webinars and workshops would certainly help you in monetizing your webpages.


Remember, the only efficient, effective and possible medium to reach your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, is through digital marketing. Digital media moves fast. Consumers will be looking up for your product or service on multiple devices and search engines. The evolution of digital marketing is bound to pose new challenges as well as opportunities for your start-up; it is wise to be prepared to meet them.


About CIBA: CIBA (Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration) is a leading incubation centre with an aim to foster entrepreneurship in Goa. Startups in Goa can avail space, business amenities as well as mentorship support across various areas including digital marketing. CIBA welcomes Goan startups to incubate at any of its three premises in Verna, Assagao and Mumbai.

3 ways startups can use LinkedIn to boost their business

3 ways startups can use LinkedIn to boost their business

15th July 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

We are all well aware of the blood, sweat and tears involved while building a startup. However, a majority of startups fail and shut shop due to their inability to reach the right customer pockets owing to a lack of access to cost-effective, targeted marketing opportunities. That is precisely where social media platforms such as LinkedIn work wonders by helping startups reach their potential markets through professional networking. With over 467 million members on-board, LinkedIn has emerged as a great cost-effective platform for startups to grow their business by optimising professional networks.

Have your doubts about this professional network? Here is why a LinkedIn account is just what you need to boost your business:

1.       An easy way to make connections

LinkedIn’s easy-to-use features like ‘People You May Already Know’, niche-specific filters and search features are a great way to increase your connections directly, without wasting any time. LinkedIn also enables you to easily create business-specific groups with other like-minded businessmen to start relevant discussions important to your startup. Further, potential opportunities can be discussed through personal messaging. Your startup is sure to gain great exposure as it is introduced to the LinkedIn business world.

Top Tip: Connecting with people who have 1000+ connections enables you to build an expansive, meaningful and an extensive network of potential buyers, investors and partners.

2.       LinkedIn allows prospects to easily find your startup

LinkedIn’s highly optimised search engine emphasises on the professional title. Therefore, by creating a compelling and professional profile for your business, you can be easily discovered by your target audience and value chain partners through the LinkedIn landscape as well as on Google searches. Through this profile, visitors know exactly what your startup does. For instance, if yours is a graphic designing startup, simply list your skills as well as the tools and technologies you work on to start getting views from other LinkedIn members. It is important to be very honest while building your profile as false information will eventually come to the notice of the visitors, who wouldn’t shy away from giving your startup a bad review.

Top Tip: Do upload your business logo in the profile picture, and also upload videos and product images for better profile searchability and customer engagement.

3.       Recommendations go a long way

LinkedIn allows you to ask your connections for recommendations through requests. You can use this to your advantage by requesting clients or partners, who will, through positive recommendation, emphasise on what your company does best. This will showcase your proficiency and skills, and also add credibility to your profile. The recommendations will also give visitors a complete view of your professional performance and capabilities. Recommending other businesses in return is also a great way to build a beneficial business cycle.

Top Tip: Professional networking works on a ‘give and take’ arrangement. Chalk out some time each day to actively recommend your contacts and add value to group discussions. Avoid blatant selling of your products or services on LinkedIn. Try to carve a niche for your brand as a thought leader.

In the recent years, social media has become less of an optional marketing strategy and more of a priority. Startups have a distinct advantage in the social media realm because everyone wants to know about new businesses. Every startup needs a way to showcase its products and services to the prospective clients, and that is exactly what LinkedIn helps achieve in a cost efficient manner.


Remember, your LinkedIn profile is a tool to boost your business’ growth by manifolds. So hurry! Create a detailed business profile for your startup and begin networking with prospect clients, value chain partners and even investors.

Top 7 mistakes that young investors make

Top 7 mistakes that young investors make

13th June 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Did you know that if you begin investing in your 20s, in the first few years of starting a job, you could grow your savings exponentially over the next few years?Even if you’re 30, and you start saving about Rs 2000 per month, you would be left with Rs38.4 lakh once you retire at 60.

If you haven’t begun investing yet, it’s never too late to get started. Before you take the plunge, here are 7 mistakes to avoid.

1. Procrastination

Don’t delay until tomorrow, what you can do today.For example, at 25, if you start a systematic investment plan (SIP) of Rs 5,000 in an equity fund that gives 12% returns, in 30 years, you will earn Rs 1.77 crore. If you wait till 28 to start investing, the amount accumulated will be less by Rs 56 lakh. The longer the delay, the smaller is the corpus. An online SIP calculator will help you work out your returns.

2. Investing without a plan

Are you guilty of investing money just to meet those last-minute tax saving deadlines given by your company? Ad-hoc investing happens when you have to rely on advice from others. This does you more harm than good because the investment is in line with their financial objectives and not yours. Don’t block your money in unproductive investments. Take time out and make an investment plan with your financial goals in mind.

3. Not doing enough research

If you’re looking to invest, the options are aplenty-saving in a bank account, buying common stock, real estate, mutual funds, and short-term deposits. Just make sure you don’t invest in businesses you don t understand. Set some time aside every day to learn about investing. Your knowledge will increase and you’ll also end up enjoying it!

4. Falling for Ponzi schemes

Remember the Saradha scam, where 1.74 million people lost more than Rs 20,000 crore? These are investment schemes, which promise to give you high returns in a short time. They pay returns to existing investors out of money collected from new investors rather than from profits. Before you consider putting your life savings into these schemes, stop and think about what you’re doing. Remember, a way too good offer only exists in fairytales.

5. Failing to Diversify

While professional investors may be able to make a lot of money by investing in a few, focused areas, young investors should diversify. When you invest in only one set of securities offering the same returns and subject to the same regulations, your chances of loss also increases if one of these securities tank. Experts suggest not allocating more than 5 to 10% to any one investment.

6. Not willing to take risks

Don’t play it safe and invest in low-yielding fixed income instruments like FDs, NSCs, bonds, etc. As a young investor, you must take advantage of more aggressive asset classes, because you have fewer expenses, no one financially dependent on you and you won t need that money anytime soon.

7. Lack of Patience

A gradual yet steady investment approach will always work for you in your quest to wealth creation. While professionals can make educated guesses, no one can the future. Keep your expectations realistic with regard to the length, time and growth that each stock will encounter.

Saving for retirement should not be the only reason for you to plan your investments. Inflation cuts an average 3.87% of your money’s value every year. Investing is the best way to grow your money fast enough to beat inflation. If you start young, you have the advantage of time, the ability to withstand risk and opportunities to increase future income. 

Why wait? Start investing today!

5 Things Failure Can Teach You About Success

5 Things Failure Can Teach You About Success

26th May 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

There is no shame in failing. In fact, failure is one of the greatest teachers, is something every successful person would tell you. And this holds true even in the startup world – entrepreneurs often face disappointment and failure at several stages of their journey, however, only those who are patient and intelligent enough to learn and move on, without repeating the mistakes, create history in terms of businesses we all look up to.

In fact, a pivot, one of the most popular buzzwords in the startup world currently, simply means a setback or an experience that changes the face or direction of your business completely. A very positive way to harness failure for growth, indeed.

Today, we share 5 things failure can teach you about success:

Personal growth – Failure can help you rediscover your strengths and find your real self. When you fail, you understand the importance of success, and realise the value of your family and friends who swear by you during thick and thin.

Professional Growth – This may sound impractical to some, but failure can lead to professional growth if leveraged in the right sense. Failures not only provide you with the opportunity to objectively analyze what went wrong but also present the opportunity for the entire team to come together and brainstorm new strategies for success.

Positivity – Rising from a failure is one of the biggest lessons in positivity. Failure teaches you to control your thoughts and tame your mind. We all know how our thoughts turn into reality shaping our lives. So staying positive in times of tribulation and focusing on the success you deserve could be the key to transforming any setback into victory.

Financial Management – Several young companies fall into a cycle of debt, especially because the focus in early stages is usually placed on numbers and not on sustainable business models. A failure can provide an entrepreneur with the financial insight that is important for the ultimate success of any business.

Light follows Dark – Many a great person stumbled before they took the flight to success. And therein lies the most important lesson for everyone – success follows failure, only if one perseveres. Instead of giving up, if you could practically analyze the situation, accept your mistakes and re-strategize, there is no doubt you will reach your destination sooner or later, richer with experience and hindsight.

There is no shame in failing and starting over again. Einstein and Steve Jobs felt proud in sharing their failures that shaped their success. So take heart and don’t let anything break you down on your entrepreneurial journey; a failure is but a stepping-stone in your journey.

Top 5 free tools for startups

Top 5 free tools for startups

16th May 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting
So we all have heard and tried our hands at 100$ startups, but free is better, right? Imagine not having to worry about paying a penny for your dreams to push off. Imagine if there were ladders that would take you higher and help you grow and prosper. Absolutely free!! We bring to you five free tools for your start-up that are worth it. 1. START UP STASH - A know-it-all dictionary of resources and tools to help you build your startup. Make the most of this tool, right from picking up ideas to deployment of resources to legal and CRM help. This tool was named one of the 100 best tools for startups by Forbes Magazine in 2015. 2. DUE- This versatile free tool is a killer. It helps keep track of billing and productivity. Apart from that, it offers invoicing templates for domestic and international clients, recurring invoices, automated payment reminders and acknowledgments, reports, client and project database, digital wallet, domestic and global credit card processing and more. Get inspired and get your work streamlined. There is a free signup option, too! So, what’s keeping you from conquering your dreams? 3. THE NAME APP – A free name generator created by Chrisitian Perez, for budding entrepreneurs. It is not always easy finding names for your startup when you have so many ideas running through your mind. But help is at hand with this free tool. Search for domains and social profiles with THE NAME APP. It is easy, free and helpful when you are trying to come up with a strong social presence. Free download available from Apple iTunes. 4. SHAKE– Everyone is bound to fall into the legal trap of doing things correctly. And if you aren’t aware of fancy law terms and jargons, simply log on to Shake, to shake-off all your legal worries. You can use it for creating, signing and sending legally binding agreements in seconds. It s convenient and simple to use. 5. PABLO BY BUFFER- Increase your social media engagement by designing images for your social media posts for free. PABLO BY BUFFER is super quick and easy to use. Say your message with style with over 25,000 templates to choose from. For the images and texts that you searched for, from within Pablo, there would be no copyright or licensing problem. Still a better idea would be to read in-depth text on licensing policy at With these exciting free tools, the web is yours to exploit - just remember to keep it ethical and fun. There is no better time than today to launch your startup. Use the above mentioned free tools, and, of course, your imagination to build a promising startup. As they say, every idea can realize wealth if implemented well. Use these free tools to amass yours!


27th April 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting
In this era of entrepreneurship, where every day a new startup enters the world giving hope to many unknown faces to hit the jackpot and become nothing less than midnight millionaires, it’s worth noting the transition from the 90’s to 2000’s. Of course, the major credit goes to the ‘internet’. Known to all are the basic essentials for any startup in today’s world which are very simple and minimalistic - a laptop and the internet. Most of the startups in this E-wonder era require content marketing not just as an awareness/survival tool but as one of the most important marketing instrument. Let’s take a look at what Content Marketing is - Content Marketing as described in a Forbes article is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” In a layperson’s language, it means instead of pitching your products/services, all you have to do is provide truly relevant, useful, rich and valuable content to prospective clients and customers to attract them, driving profitable customer action. Content Marketing refers to online content such blogs, white papers, press releases, social media posts, newsletters, opt-in email marketing campaigns, videos, and images which are used to connect and engage with one’s target audience. WHAT MAKES CONTENT MARKETING SO IMPORTANT? 1. It is affordable. 2. It is an effective form of marketing that targets both primary and secondary target audience. 3. It develops the ‘voice’ of your brand. 4. It generates sales with just keeping the audience engaged. 5. It makes your brand generate ‘value’ and ‘relevance’, unlike any other information online. HOW TO CREATE A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY? 1. Define your aim & know your goals. 2. Define your target audience. 3. In case of an established audience, revisit the parameters by conducting market research before starting with the content strategy. 4. Establish a content management system for your ease. 5. Brainstorm content ideas and use the important tools such as Buzzsumo, Content Forest, etc. 6. Define what sort of content you want to create. There are a variety of options to generate content. Here are some of the popular ones used by marketers - 1. BLOG POSTS - Easiest to start is a company’s blog wherein you majorly try to cross-promote other content. Using SEO increases the value/ranking of your content. 2. EBOOKS - In the form of a narrative structure with great visual design, eBooks help in educating your audience. 3. WHITEPAPERS & REPORTS - Similar to eBooks, these are less graphically designed and are mostly used to partner with other organizations. 4. INFOGRAPHICS - This is a mix of both - info and graphics. You need an amazing graphics person for this. 5. VIDEOS - A timeless option. All you require is high-quality video content to expose your brand to a wider range of audience. Content Marketing is an effective tool and should be used as a part of your marketing strategy. Quality content is all you need for any form of marketing such as for Social Media Marketing - you need great content to post, for SEO, PR, PPC, etc. content has to be consistent and marvellous to anchor the audience’s brain to your business. From leads to sales, content marketing is one such strategy that will help your brand connect and engage with your audience at every stage of the buying cycle.
​Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

​Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

2nd April 2017 | Decision Tree

Everything you need to know about affiliate marketing

Also called Performance-based marketing, affiliate marketing simply involves a merchant offering to pay a commission to a person, group or organization for generating sales leads. In the digital landscape, this would mean digital publishers (blogs or websites) that host the advertisers’ content. 

Before we start, let us tell you what is affiliate marketing in very simple terms. Affiliate marketing refers to the process where you refer a product to someone online and are paid only when the person buys that product. Thus, marketers are paid only if visitors get converted to customers, and not before.

In a typical digital marketing sense, affiliate marketing involves the following players and process:

Key players involved in affiliate marketing

Merchant: Merchant is the seller of a product or service and is sometimes referred as brand or marketer, too.

Advertiser: Advertiser essentially plans and implements branding efforts. There can be two scenarios; one, where the marketer is the advertiser and interacts directly with the affiliate network to drive the marketing campaign; and second, where a merchant appoints an advertiser to perform the aforementioned activities.

Network: Network refers to a pool of publishers where advertisers can place their content.

Publisher: A publisher can be a website or blog or forum or any online content platform frequently visited by users. These individual publishers host the advertisers’ content (advertisement) and hence are the actual billboards for users.

Users: The last and the most important piece of the puzzle, users are regular people who visit numerous websites and buy products and services online.

How affiliate marketing works?

Although affiliate marketing models keep evolving to include additional intermediaries and complexity levels, any affiliate marketing campaign works on the following basic principle:

§ A merchant or advertiser tasks an affiliate network to run a promotional campaign

§ Merchant / advertiser shares the creative (say, an image of a product with a link) with the affiliate network

§ The network hosts this ad on various publishers’ pages

§ User discovers merchant’s ad on a publisher’s page

§ User clicks at the link and is taken to the merchant’s page

§ Depending on the agreement, the merchant may pay the network for the referral or sales lead or only after registering the sale.

What are the various affiliate compensation models?

The terms of payment between the network and advertiser / merchant may differ in every case; however, the following methods of charging are practiced across the globe:

·   PPS (Pay per Sale): Almost 80% of merchants prefer this revenue sharing mode of compensation to affiliate networks as the liability to pay arises only after clocking sales.

·   CPA (Cost Per Action): Second to PPS, almost 19% of merchants prefer to pay affiliates for only after a specified action is performed on the publishers’ page; this could be a click on a link, filling up of a form or clicking the ‘Buy’ button. CPA is also called PPA (Pay Per Acquisition) or CPC (Cost Per Conversion).

·   CPC (Cost Per Click): Although very popular during the sunrise days of ecommerce, CPC has lost prominence over the years owing to the method’s susceptibility to various scams and frauds. Having said that, CPC is still a preferred mode of compensation in display advertising (image, text and video or audio clips) and inorganic search campaigns. And with the rise in social media oriented marketing (read Facebook and Twitter), CPC and CPI (Cost Per Impression) are gaining prominence again.

·   CPI (Cost Per Impression): In this method, merchant / advertiser pays for each time their ad is displayed to a user. CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) is a version of CPI where the affiliate charges a fixed amount for every 1,000 views of the ad. The word ‘M’ in the acronym denotes the Latin ‘mille’ for thousand.


With increased internet penetration around the world, affiliate marketing is the way forward for all digital marketers. Equipped with a better understanding of affiliate marketing, you may now articulate a winning digital marketing strategy and take the first step towards ensuring a global reach for your brand.

Getting the max out of your email marketing campaign

Getting the max out of your email marketing campaign

10th February 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Do you know that emails are up to 40% more effective than Facebook and Twitter (combined) in increasing customer acquisition for your business?

With hundreds of emails bombarding potential consumers each day, sharing information about your brand and product via email is still your best bet to stay in touch with consumers. But, in the milieu of hundreds of emails, how do you ensure that your email-marketing campaign does not fall flat?

Well, as always, there are certain principles that marketers, from experience, have developed to ensure your subscribers actually open and read the emails sent by you.

Email marketing is more powerful than ever before. Here are some cues to get you started.

Personalized subject lines – Personalization is the buzzword for 2017. A large number of marketing professionals confirm that personalization increases consumer engagement.

A 2015 report revealed that personalized emails could improve click-through rates and conversions by 10% or more.

Yes, to tempt a reader into opening your email from the hundreds she has received, it is important to personalize your emails in creative ways, such as addressing the reader with her name in the subject line, to increase the opening rates.

A creative and personalized subject line is your best bet – Brainstorm and craft a short catchy title, up to 50 characters long, that will stand out in the recipient’s mailbox.

The format – No one wants to read a boring pile of text. Make an effort to keep your emails clean, concise and ‘good looking, to prevent the subscribers from getting bored. It may be a good idea to invest in a professional email template or get one especially designed for your brand.

The call to action – The main aim of your email marketing campaign is to ‘click-through’ users to your website – which can be achieved by using a strong and clear call to action. Deviate from the boring and use some creative lines to compel the users to click on your website link. Asking a question in your call to action or offering freebies, such as free e-books and coupons, are good reasons for users to click on the link provided by you.

The unsubscribe option - Before embarking on your email campaign, it is important to understand that only some people, and not all, will be interested in receiving your emails. Instead of buying an email database from outside, build your own organic subscriber list by asking people to subscribe on your website through blogs and social media. Including a subscribe button in your website is as important as including an ‘unsubscribe’ button in your emails. Some people will want to opt-out, ensure they are free to do so.

Mobile friendly – Over 50% of all the emails received are opened on mobile devices.

Do you look good on the mobile?

Before launching your email campaign, check whether your email looks good across platforms and devices, to ensure better user experience.


Once you have included all the above points in your email campaign, you are all set to tap into the power of email marketing – except, never ever forget the golden rule of ‘No Spam’. Spamming means sending out emails to persons who have not opted to receive them. Being marked as spam by a large number of users will not only restrict your access to several mailboxes, but also make your brand look bad.

3 Simple Steps to Promote Your Startup on Facebook

3 Simple Steps to Promote Your Startup on Facebook

28th January 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

Facebook promotions form the significant size of the entire social media marketing platform. Unsurprisingly, most businesses, large and small, swear by Facebook’s promotional tools when it comes to promoting their brand or product or service to the right audience at really affordable cost.

With over 38% of the total online users in the world on Facebook (1.70+ billion to be precise), no business can dare to miss the Facebook platform for promoting its offerings or forwarding its brand.

Seemingly difficult, promoting your business on Facebook is just like ‘1, 2, 3...’ literally!

1.    Create a Facebook Page for Your Brand


Creating a Facebook page for your business is easy. You can simply login to your own Facebook personal profile and choose ‘Create Page’.


Selecting the type of page you want to create, you can proceed to fill in more details to successfully create your business page. Once you add relevant content and profile pictures on the page, don’t forget to invite your friends to like your page. Remember, your business page cannot have friends. It can only have ‘likes’. It is worthwhile to garner as many likes for the page as possible  because the people who liked your page will become your audience, and everything shared by you on your page will surface in their timelines.


2.    Choose what to promote


Of course you know that you need to promote your brand, products or services. Facebook allows you a unique opportunity to promote either of the following through its platform:


     Promote a post

     Promote your Facebook page

     Promote your website


You may choose to promote all three at different stages of your online marketing strategy. When you promote a post (picture of a product, flyer or an e-vite) your audience will see and may also ‘like’ your post. It is ideal to promote posts that have a link to ‘Buy’ the product or ‘Join’ an event.


When you choose to promote your Facebook page, the cover picture of your Facebook page reaches the audience, who may choose to visit the page and even like it. In the initial stages of marketing through Facebook, it is better to promote your page. This will win a large audience for you (they are essentially people who subscribed to your page); and when users from this audience react to your posts, their own network will receive the notification, which will mean much more exposure to your posts and brand.


Facebook also gives you an amazing opportunity to promote your website. If you have a dynamic website with an integrated payment gateway then you can even start selling through a simple Facebook promotion campaign!


Tip: Facebook not only allows you to promote your post or page or website across the globe at nominal cost, it also allows you to filter your target market. Choose a target market that is most likely to be interested in your products / services.


3.    Manage Your Ad Campaigns With Cutting-Edge Analytics & Insights


Facebook offers a highly useful campaign management dashboard that displays the reach against the budget spent. Also, you can see the performance of your ad with respect to the demographics it reached. Based on the various insights and analytics, you can fine tune your target audience, polish your content, and even select the best time to launch an ad campaign.

Promoting your business on Facebook is swift, affordable, and also impactful. So make that killer ad campaign (use and to get free high-resolution pictures), get a thousand likes and take your business to the far corners of the world with Facebook’s promotional tools! 

5 Steps to Tackle Hiring Woes for Startups

5 Steps to Tackle Hiring Woes for Startups

13th January 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

While incubation centres provide the necessary infrastructure and mentorship support to startups, and angel investors and crowd funding aid them with much precious capital to grow the scale of business, albeit at a later stage, building a great team remains the toughest task for any young startup.

There are many challenges faced by startups with respect to hiring the right talent; from inviting resumes and generating interest in the (mostly unknown) startup to meeting high salary expectations of bright, experienced talent; staffing the right person for the right job is an uphill task for many entrepreneurs.

Having said that, great businesses are always built on the shoulders of great teams (think Apple, Facebook, Virgin); there is no way you can circumvent the process of building a high-calibre team and still set new milestones in business.

So, instead of stalling your startup’s progress, read the following tips to effectively tackle each of the steps involved in hiring awesome people:

Note: Before seeking resumes for a post, make sure that your online presence is strong. Have a nice website in place (you can make a free one on, create informative and engaging profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook.

1. Inviting Resumes

As easy as it may sound, winning attention of prospective employees is not that easy. The traditional (and also the fastest) way of inviting resumes is through job portals. Sadly, on this very first step, many young startups and entrepreneurs throw in the towel; reason, sky-high cost of posting a job on popular job portals.  

But don’t lose hope; while the big players charge astronomical fees, there are few upcoming hiring portals such as that allow you to post and manage job postings for free!

2. Scanning & Shortlisting Candidates

It is crucial what you look in an ideal candidate. While a resume tells you about the professional and educational background of an incumbent, it also speaks volumes about the candidate’s personality. A resume that is completely error free, to-the-point, and well structured, often belongs to a well-organized, alert, and meticulous person.

Don’t hesitate to call these candidates. Try to learn about them, know their story, and ask what they want out of the job, if selected. With no promises attached, this interaction would give you great insights on people behind the resume, and is even great for setting the expectation of the candidates.

3. Conducting Job Interviews

Meeting the shortlisted candidates is an important step in the process of hiring. This is the time when you, as an employer, and the candidate, form opinions about each other.

Many hiring experts stress that the first interview should happen at the workplace (if your office is in the same city), opposed to inviting candidates in a hotel or a coffee shop. The workplace, its accessibility and environment forms a major decision factor for a candidate, besides, of course, the remuneration.

Keep yourself free for the day of the interview, set in a little early and go through the probable questions to ask the candidate. Take some time to frame answers for probable questions a candidate may ask about you and your organization. Be prepared to share your vision and growth plan with the candidate. Take it no less seriously than meeting investors.

Remember, unlike a big corporate, your startup doesn’t pronounce job security for the candidates; hence, they would like to know the potential of the idea and even your marketing strategy!

4. The Money Talk

Remuneration is the big grey elephant in the room that you need to address (if you have not already mentioned in the job post).

Of course, being a startup (and most probably, bootstrapped) you would never be able to match the salary of true deserving candidates who is already doing well in her job.

Show the proof of your startup’s success so far; share the long-term vision and the candidate’s place in the core team. Emphasise on the point that in your startup, she would have more freedom and much authority in contrast to her highly competitive job in the big corporate with several bands of hierarchy.

Be inventive. Work out a basic salary and income sharing proposition for efforts in securing and retaining clients. Moreover, introduce elements in the job that are far superior than money; for example ownership in tasks, giving due credit, and above all, creating a great fun work culture.

5. Be Ready to Hire & Fire

Although it sounds brash and unsavoury, hiring and firing is an inevitable rule to follow until your startup is manned by highly productive, honest, and professional people.

Hiring is not a one-time process. You would need to keep hiring talent at every stage of the business. Whether your business grows or team members leave or you sign pink slips for underperforming employees, you would need to hire new people on a continual basis.

So, pay special attention while drafting that offer letter; make ample provisions to gauge and evaluate performances and reserve the right to confirm an employee only after a sufficient period of performance monitoring.

While you follow the above tips on hiring a great team (and we wish you the best for that), we would also suggest that you meet as many people as possible, trust that instinct and don’t shy away from hiring talent (or atleast making an offer) you spotted in the coffee shop or in a conference!


Afterall, you can spot talent almost anywhere...

5 Steps to Start Selling: A Startup’s Journey from Idea to Income

5 Steps to Start Selling: A Startup’s Journey from Idea to Income

7th January 2017 | Decision Tree Consulting

A mindful of idea is great . . . only if it leads to pockets full of cash.

It is true, even if you are a social entrepreneur; the element of value has to figure in any startup’s equation. Transforming of efforts, resources or ideas into valuable offerings is a call every business must answer. Startups are no different in this regard.

We all know that a startup’s journey from being a revolutionary idea to an entity registering incremental revenue is littered with obstacles. More often than not, many startups fail to float owing to their inability to sell their products / services in the market. In fact, there are businesses that close shop without making even single sales!

As incredulous as it may sound, it is a harsh truth that every startup faces. Selling the first unit of product or instance of service (sales to family / friends being discounted) is the toughest challenge startups face.

Many entrepreneurs concur that making the first customer is very important for any startup as it gives them immense motivation in continuing their efforts. Moreover, the very first set of customers gives the startups valuable feedback, giving promoters an opportunity to fine tune their offerings.

We bring to you 5 simple steps that will help you immensely in clocking the elusive first purchase order. (Young startups and would-be entrepreneurs must pay heed.)

1. Define an apt offering & identify the right market segment

Of course, you have this one figured it out.

Let’s do it once again. Even before thinking of approaching prospective customers, be 100% sure that your product is well-defined and rightly priced, offering a high value proposition with respect to competing products / services. Next, make a list of people who could be your customers. Narrow this list to include only those who would certainly be interested in your offer. Finally, work towards reaching out to prospective customers who want a product / service like yours NOW!

2. Get a web presence

Having a website is not about being fashionable. It is a need. While you take your offerings to various markets and across several forums, let your digital shop be open 24X7 to dispense information about your business and its offerings. Contrary to popular belief, it costs nothing to put up a neat, static, multi-page website (visit

However, it always pays to get a professional website in place, get custom domain, and not just tell the world about your brand, but also sell through your website.

3. Optimize Social Media

While many label social media as a useless addiction, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are taking small businesses to far reaches of the world – at paltry sums!

Social media platforms are your cool sales reps running through various countries and continents, taking your brand, products and services where your real target audience resides. Social media giant Facebook not only allows you to make business pages linked to your profile (for free!), it also lets you promote your website, Facebook page or post (with images / information about your offerings) to a supremely targeted market at unbelievably low costs.

4. Reconnect with old contacts

While young startups work hard to build a market from scratch, many potential buyers  sit cosily in their contact list, completely oblivious to your new venture. Book a day or two, craft a personal message / email and reach out to your phone / email contact list. Do not forget to share links to your portfolio, website / social media page and add a call to action.

Wait, your exercise is not yet over.

Follow up with these contacts after sometime, but do not try to sell them your products yet; take their views and feedback – make them feel a part of your venture. This way they will propel your brand by sharing and liking your posts, spreading good word about your product, and someone from this list might even turn up to be your very first customer!

5. Better your offering

While you immerse yourself in pursuing the abovementioned ways to earn your first customer, try to better your offering vis-à-vis the competition. In the initial days, do not shy away from dishing out some samples or extend a service for free. These revenue-less exercises may cost you a bit, but in return can give you free press, an opportunity to build new contacts, and above all, feedback and insights to better your offering.


In the end, never forget that if your product or service has true value (it alleviates a pain, adds value to other people’s lives or simply entertains people) it will always have a corresponding market. Use the above 5 steps to connect with your market, today!

10 Startup Jargons You Must Be Acquainted With

10 Startup Jargons You Must Be Acquainted With

23rd December 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

Just began your entrepreneurial journey and already baffled by startup jargons swooshing past your ears?

Startup lingo is full of slangs, unclear phrases, and seemingly complex jargons. Startup experts and mentors can hurl these at an unsuspecting entrepreneur leaving him wondering about the true crux of a discussion or advice.

Necessary or not, useful or annoying, startup jargons are here to stay and the best an entrepreneur can do is to understand their true meaning.

We bring to you a list of 10 startup jargons and their actual meaning to help you decide how, when, and where to use them; or simply drop them out of your vocabulary:

  1. Business Accelerator – Another name for business incubator. Incubation centres help baby startups find their feet by providing early support in terms of office space, phone and internet connectivity, as well as mentorship support in product development and marketing stages. These incubation services ‘accelerate’ the business growth and hence the alternate name.
  1. Deck – A deck is a crisp and comprehensive document that explains your business or entails your business plan in short and clear terms. So, an 8 – 10 slide PowerPoint presentation listing the superiority of your products / services is a ‘sales deck’. And an executive summary of your business plan with all the requisite numbers will be your ‘pitch deck’.
  1. B2B / B2C – Frequently used terms, B2B and B2C are abbreviations for ‘Business-to-Business’ and ‘Business-to-Customer’. A B2B organization sells its products and services to other businesses, while a B2C sells its offerings directly to the masses.
  1. Bootstrapping – You must have heard this term numerous times and often wondered what it meant. Essentially, a ‘bootstrapped’ startup is a self funded startup. So, bootstrapping is running a startup with private funds of the promoter(s).
  1. Seed Capital – Seed capital is the first stage of funding; required to setup the business. Seed funding is required to transform an idea to actual tangible business. Since investors are wary of untested business ideas, most startups bootstrap to get the seed funding.
  1. Pivot – The word ‘pivot’ indicates a point facilitating the change of direction. In the startup parlance, a pivot indicates change in focus of the business (from its original). So, when an organization changes its market segment, or uses its capabilities / technology for a completely new purpose, it is said to have experienced a pivot.
  1. Burn Rate – While the term can indicate anything and looks vague, in startup environment it explains the rate at which a startup is spending its funds. Often, startups fall in the trap of blowing lot of funds in a bid to grow faster and have to wind up the startup. Evidently, keeping the burn rate low and opting to grow sustainably is the right way for the startups.
  1. Scalable – The word is of immense interest for investors and bankers. They want to know if your business is scalable or not. What they are actually interested in knowing is whether your business model has scope to increase production / service incidents, grow the customer base, and enhance revenues. Investors and lenders are happy to consider business ideas that can be replicated at a larger platform and earn higher revenues.
  1. Growth Hacking – An intelligent term, sadly over-abused and used as a cliché by many, Growth Hacking means attaining quick, scalable growth by adopting inexpensive marketing techniques. Aggressive social media promotion is a part of growth hacking strategy.
  1. Traction – From a startup standpoint, traction refers to the true adoption of your product / service by the customers. It is generally described in terms of number of units sold / customers serviced or revenue generated in a given point in time.

Now equipped with some of the most commonly used startup jargons, we believe you are in a better position to dive into any startup conversation, like a pro!



5 Traps Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

5 Traps Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

15th December 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

The initial days of every startup are full of excitement and emotion. Entrepreneurs tread through many stages and processes to launch, establish, and gradually grow their startup venture.

In present times, when startup and entrepreneurship are the buzz words, a plethora of information, opinions, and stories related to the startup ecosystem and its participants streams in from all corners - making entrepreneurs susceptible to many false notions regarding the right way to steer their startups.

While your Google searches would not discern between a piece of genuine advice and a trending lie; we bring to you 5 snares you must watch out for during the initial days of your entrepreneurial journey.


Lack of a Business Plan


No matter how ingenious your idea is, without a solid business plan it would be a Ferrari without any gas in the middle of a wasteland!


A concrete business plan is like a blueprint for your startup’s success. It helps you define sellable products / services, set the right pricing, and precisely define the target customer base. Moreover, a good business plan will help you chalk out your growth plans and help you scale up your venture. Also, it can’t be more obvious that no investor or VC firm will even consider a startup without a good business plan.


Run a ‘One Man Show’


Planning to be the Jack of all Tricks? Well, abandon the idea instantly and hire an able team. Most entrepreneurs fall in the trap of trying to run each and every aspect of their startup, only to fail a potential business idea. As the head of the business, you must take the steering wheel and focus on the road ahead, while the team takes care of their specialized roles. Remember, you can scale up your operations, build a stronger brand, and move ahead of competition only with the help of a team.


Develop a Peerless Product


Everyone around you will say that building an innovative solution or product is the key to success, and all your focus should be invested in doing so. True, but your offering is innovative and peerless only till the time it hits the market. In today’s hi-tech and fiercely competitive world, you cannot afford to enjoy the fruits of an invention for a long time. Someone will catch up soon, and chances are, working on your vision and technique, may even launch a far superior offering in very less time! From Facebook to Twitter, and Snapdeal to Flipkart, we have seen that the key to be on top is to continuously hone your offerings to meet the fast evolving preferences of your customers, and surpass your competition.


All Work and no Play


The quintessential 24X7 work culture attributed to startups is rather a dangerous fad for the entrepreneurs. Businesses are run by people. And people, being social animals, need to let their hair down every now and then, and socialize. The biggest support for entrepreneurs doesn’t come from customers, vendors, or investors. It comes from friends and family; people who love you and stand by you through thick and thin. Reciprocating this selfless devotion from your loved ones by spending quality time with them will help you tackle business challenges with ease.


Ignore Incubation Support


All mighty businesses were once vulnerable startups. It is essential for businesses to reach out and seek as much help as possible during their initial days. Thankfully, the incubation support is increasingly being made available across the country. Incubation centres not just provide the much needed infrastructural support (office space, seamless internet connectivity and power), but also provide valuable mentorship support. Add to this the handholding in planning and executing marketing efforts, as well as phenomenal exposure and free press through various networking events.


While we list these top 5 tips, entrepreneurs should decide the best course of action for their startup. Tune in to your true instincts, weigh the pros and cons, and stick to the vision of the business before taking crucial decisions.

How to Think Differently to be a Successful Entrepreneur

How to Think Differently to be a Successful Entrepreneur

2nd December 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

Being an entrepreneur means starting on an uncharted journey, which definitely requires a mindset that is open to challenges and tackling them in a creative way.

Successful entrepreneurs are not people who do things differently, but those who think differently, right from the start. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that they succeeded not by copying someone, but by embracing their uniqueness. Of course, it is important to have role models, but don`t follow those who have already made their mark. To be a part of that league, you need to think differently and carve a niche for yourself and your brand…conventional wisdom will not take you there alone, but an unconventional mindset would.


Here are some ways to start thinking differently, now!


Be disciplined – Being an entrepreneur is not about taking a vacation, but the freedom of doing what you want and how you want. Discipline is most important when you start on an entrepreneurial journey. Being disciplined should be ingrained and not require any extra effort – it is easy to lose focus and let things slip out when there is no one to answer to. However, to be successful, you need routine, patience and discipline in your daily life to achieve targets you have set down for yourself.

Accept Failure – Failure is not the end, but only a beginning. Everytime you fail, you learn a new lesson that prevents you from committing the mistake again. Challenges, failures and obstacles are common parts of an entrepreneurial journey – the key lies in your attitude. Embrace challenges and accept failure, but don`t give up… because trial leads to perfection.

Work-Life balance – Entrepreneurship is a mindset, it is a lifestyle, which means, it becomes a part of you and you end up carrying your business everywhere with you. Accept this change and stop making excuses. There will be late night calls to take and meetings to attend, sometimes at the cost of personal obligations, sometimes not. But don`t make this a habit; strive to create a balance because a happy mind always thinks well!

Communicate – As an entrepreneur, you must develop good communication skills. It is easy to be caught in our own line of thought and grow rigid. However, in order to build a successful business, one must be open to ideas and communicate with others, including employees and clients, to continually challenge one`s own perspective and learn new things.

Time over Money – Time is money, but money can`t buy you time. Successful entrepreneurs value their time over everything else. This means staying away from meetings, events and opportunities that mean nothing for your business. There is no harm in socializing but when you are building an empire, every second is worth a lot.


Anyone can be an entrepreneur. But what defines successful entrepreneurs from the rest is their ability to think out-of-the-box. Everyone is not born with an entrepreneurial mindset, but with patience and discipline, anyone can develop the right mindset and thought pattern, that is prerequisite to success.

Setting the right startup culture

Setting the right startup culture

25th November 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

Developing the right culture is instrumental to a right start, be it in your personal life or professional. Setting the right work culture in a workplace ensures ethical work standards that everyone agrees on. In fact, starting early in your company’s life cycle is essential because cultivating the work culture you idolize with a small team of people is easier than starting when the team is already old and thriving. By that time, the old employees fall into set patterns and the same may be propagated to new team members.

If you have just established the company of your dreams, now is the right time to establish the work culture you have always envisioned.

Here are some tips to help you:

Start early – Starting early is most important to starting right. With the founding team, it is easier to establish the work culture and ethos you desire due to more chances of one-on-one interaction with the team. However, with a bigger team, this may be a challenge. Having your founding team aligned with your vision will ensure that the right message is passed across to future hirees.

Know what you stand for – While the ultimate aim of every business is to be operationally profitable, the values of a business go deeper than that. How much do you value your customers, is it quality that you strive to deliver or quantity or turn around time is your defining factor? Or a mix of all three (that’s ideal)? Think about the real purpose of your company and convey this to your team, right at the outset, to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Hire the right people – It is important to set your company’s vision and mission statement before starting the hiring process. It is crucial that the interviewees are acquainted with the company’s ethos and purpose, and their views be heard on it. Undoubtedly, there cannot be a compromise on the quality of hirees, but knowing whether they are aligned (or agree) with the company’s culture or not can make a lot of difference in terms of teamwork and floor productivity in the future.

Apart from taking care of the above points, entrepreneurs must train their team members to take ownership of their work. As the business grows, you will not be able to handle everything alone. What you need are good leaders to efficiently train and manage your team in line with your ideals and goals. Setting the correct work culture early on can ensure this. Further, don’t forget to review the work culture at your workplace every now and then.





How to build a brand even from the startup stage

How to build a brand even from the startup stage

18th November 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

Having a business is not good enough. A business must transform into a brand to be truly successful. However, a brand can never be build overnight. It is a continuous process that must start as soon as the business is set up. In fact, establishing a business and creating a brand must go hand in hand for a successful business model.

An established brand goes places through referrals and word of mouth. However, when you are starting out, there are no customers and no referrals, so how do you go about creating a brand that will pull customers along with minimal marketing spend at your end?

The answer is simple – start early. Here are few ideas that will help you build up your brand, right from the start:

Communicate the right things

A brand is not run of the mill, it is unique. In order to create a brand, you must differentiate yourself, which means you cannot say what everyone else is saying. You must communicate to potential customers why they should choose you over competition – whether it is features, pricing or ease of use, the audience needs to know what differentiates you from the rest.

… to the right people

Of course, the message will be worthless if communicated to the wrong people. For example, if you want to create a brand in packaged food, your target audience is the working community that is hard pressed for time for cooking. In the stead, if you decide to tell home makers how good your packaged food is, you are wasting your time as they would rather use fresh produce than packaged food because cooking is a regular affair for them.

… on the right forum

Again, you cannot find the right audience on the wrong platform. Do you want to reach out to professionals on LinkedIn or the creative heads on Etsy? Think where your target audience is more likely to hang out virtually. Advertising on every social platform is not a brilliant idea.

… not just online

Social media is your best friend, but that does not mean you can ignore traditional offline marketing. Approach newspapers and magazines to share your story for a wider reach and focus on the problems you aim to solve through your products and what sets you apart from the crowd.

Leverage good content – Creating a brand is not about selling products, it is about creating a user base that is loyal and swears by your brand. How do you achieve this? Simply by creating content that is genuinely helpful for users; the aim of the content should not be to increase sales, but to reach out to the audience and help them understand how you want to improve their lives through your ideas and products.

Customer is king – Every business owner would agree with this one. So treat your customers right and never ignore any feedback, positive or negative, to ensure heightened customer experience. Handle negative comments and criticism gracefully, stay polite on social media and be transparent with your users to create a brand that your customers will love!




How India is turning in to a Startup Hotspot

How India is turning in to a Startup Hotspot

10th November 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

India has truly evolved into a hotbed for startups. With $9 billion invested in Indian startups in the year 2015 and the launch of the ‘Startup India’ programme by the government, India, home to many great brains and ideas, is becoming increasingly conducive to turning these ideas to successful businesses through incubation support, government initiatives, mentorship programmes and heightened interest from foreign investors.

The Indian startup ecosystem charted a quick upward trajectory and created several unicorns in the form of Flipkart, Quickr, Ola and Zomato in the past few years. The year 2016, popularly believed to be low on investor activity, actually saw an increase in the number of investments even though the ticket size got smaller. This, again, is not a sign that things are fizzling down, but the sign of a maturing ecosystem – investors are focusing more on numbers and startups on creating operationally viable value chains. Apart from IT, a lot of diversity has taken hold in the sector which can be inferred from the success of Byju’s learning app, one of the pioneers in edutech, and upcoming healthcare portals such as Murgency.

The pressure on entrepreneurs in rising; India, a hotbed of startups is now looking for definitive success. It is clear that every e-commerce venture will not be successful and every tech startup will not receive hordes of funding. The focus is now on ideas that really solve problems, unit economies and user retention tactics.

In order to facilitate this process, the country does lend a helping hand to its entrepreneurs in terms of ease of operation, incubation, acceleration and mentorship support, tax cuts and other such measures. Moving on from existing hotbeds of Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Ahmedabad are coming up as the new seats for fostering the entrepreneurship spirit. To substantiate in figures, Indian startups raised $14.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016 itself led by mobile tech, food, healthcare, e-retail, and the latest, education sector.




Incubation? What`s That?

Incubation? What`s That?

7th November 2016 | Decision Tree Consulting

Incubation? What`s That?


You must have heard of startups being incubated... sounds odd, doesn`t it? Not unlike the little egg incubated by the hen to produce a healthy chicken, startups are incubated in business incubation centres where they get support to develop their business before hatching into the market.


So, what is a business incubation centre?


Usually a non profit organization, business incubation centres provide support to startup companies in terms of office space, infrastructure, mentorship and sometimes, even funding.


All business incubators do not admit all companies – a startup that wishes to be incubated must apply to the incubation centre with a viable business plan. Every incubator has a different criterion, and only startups with a workable business plan are usually admitted.


Incubation can be defined as a process of nurturing young startups by providing them infrastructural, management and networking support through incubation centres.


Here`s how incubation support can help a startup:


Guidance and mentorship – While an idea is the backbone of establishing a startup, guidance and expert management is the key to sustaining it; it is important to leverage knowledge of experts in the industry to avoid pitfalls and develop an effective growth strategy. However, while startups receive guidance from their investors, finding dedicated business mentors can be tough in India. At an incubation centre, startups can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of industry experts through mentorship support provided by the incubation centre.


Networking – Apart from putting a startup in touch with potential investors, startups incubated in the same location often develop close relations, which can come in handy – both financially and otherwise. Apart from providing each other encouragement, startup heads can discuss business strategies and build on best practices and even plan to collaborate or market jointly in the future.


Costs of operation – Being incubated can save a startup significant amount of money in running costs. Startups incubated by the same centre can share rental expenses, Internet expenses and utilize a common secretary to bring down costs. Incubator approved startups also have a better chance of securing funding, as incubation centres can recommend these startups to VCs and investors. An incubation centre can also provide mentorship and help startups develop an effective pitch to present to potential investors.